Mark Allen Makes Snooker History with BetVictor Shoot Out Triumph

Photo Credit: World Snooker

Mark Allen achieved a historic victory at the BetVictor Shoot Out, becoming the first player within the top-16 rankings to secure the title by defeating Cao Yupeng in the final held in Swansea.

This marked the tenth career ranking title for Northern Ireland’s Allen, placing him on par with Jimmy White. His achievement also solidifies his position as the 12th player in snooker history to reach double-digit career victories. Despite a sluggish start to the current campaign, Allen, crowned Player of the Season in 2022/23, showcased his prowess in recent weeks with triumphs at the Champion of Champions and now the Shoot Out.

Known for his composure under pressure and adeptness at quick decision-making, Allen’s playing style aligns well with the fast-paced format of the Shoot Out, where all matches have a maximum duration of ten minutes. Previously a runner-up in 2013, Allen now adds this prestigious title to his list of career achievements. As the highest-ranked player in the tournament, he made history by being the first top-16 player to lift the trophy in the event’s 12-year history.

Entering the week in 30th place on the one-year list, Allen’s uncertain position for January’s World Grand Prix drastically improved with the £50,000 top prize, propelling him comfortably into the top 16. While he remains behind Judd Trump in the race for the £150,000 BetVictor Series Bonus, Allen’s recent successes make him a contender with three of the eight counting events yet to take place.

Victory in the Shoot Out was not without its share of fortune for Allen, particularly in the last 16 clash against Oliver Lines. Lines, on the verge of victory, narrowly missed position in the closing seconds, providing Allen with a lifeline. Subsequent wins over Si Jiahui in the quarter-finals and Steven Hallworth in the semis paved the way for Allen’s ultimate triumph.

In the final against Cao, Allen seized an early lead, and despite some challenges, managed to secure the win. Reflecting on the chaotic nature of the tournament, Allen expressed his desire to win every event he enters and acknowledged the enthusiastic crowd’s contribution to the lively atmosphere in Swansea.

On the other side, Cao Yupeng, ranked 49th in the world, missed out on his first ranking title but expressed satisfaction with his performance throughout the event. Despite the loss in the final, Cao appreciated the unique atmosphere of the Shoot Out and the impressive arena, highlighting the positive aspects of his run and the £20,000 runner-up prize.

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